From The Director’s Chair is a content series from Ged Tarpey, managing director of Global Media & Entertainment at Twitter. It unpacks the latest news, trends, and insights happening on Twitter within media and entertainment, providing a fresh perspective on what’s happening as it’s happening.
Life is a collection of choices with varying levels of importance ... but no choice has more momentary importance and impact than what are we watching tonight? From a new original series that brings the laughs to a classic movie that brings on the nostalgia, streaming gives fans an experience wherever they are, and its popularity isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
To understand the streamer perspective, Twitter consistently runs research on streaming behaviors, content preferences, timeline conversation, and more. Because there's a never-ending amount of information available about streaming services, we want to help break down the highlights so studios have easy access to what's going on behind the scenes and what audiences actually care about.
Globally, viewers turn to streaming services mainly to watch new, original content, with catalog content trailing closely behind in popularity.1 And our research shows studios matching the trend as an increasing number of platforms take back the rights to stream their classics, while simultaneously ramping up new original content. In addition, sports programming and adaptations are smaller, yet still popular, streaming drivers. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the type of content available on a platform plays a significant role in how consumers weigh in on what service(s) they subscribe to … or not.
Studios looking to find success in a thriving market of established and upcoming streaming services will need to take the time to expand the reach of their exclusive content and uniquely engage with audiences. Here we share trends and opportunities we’re seeing in the industry, and how studios can achieve success by converting streamers into fans — particularly on Twitter.
Reach out and touch the timeline
Looking across North America, LATAM, Europe, and Asia, our research shows that more than 67% of the sampled audiences watch two or more streaming services, and almost 51% watch three.2 This is a significant figure considering the varying preferences and socioeconomic ranges of households around the world. Studios looking to expand their reach to patrons of multiple streaming services can find that reach on Twitter. Because on average, audiences on Twitter are 44% more likely than non-Twitter users to watch more than three streaming services.3
For streamers, Twitter provides the combination of complimentary content and conversation that enhances streaming experiences. Having a built-in watch party on the timeline, streamers can discuss and debate before, during, and after their favorite shows, covering everything from the latest happenings to viral moments. For others, timeline conversations get people excited to join new communities and watch content they haven’t seen. This kind of conversation organically drives interest, and for studios that interest may mean tune-in as streamers look to stay in the loop on the most talked-about movies and shows. This gives studios a unique opportunity to be a part of the conversation and deepen the connection with audiences.
Make a genuine connection with fans
If you want to tap into the conversation around what people are watching, look no further than Twitter as the thread connecting communities around entertainment, in real time.
With over 250MM Tweets and 37MM4 unique authors mentioning streaming-specific content over the last year, it’s easy to see that Twitter is not only the platform where fans dive deeper into the shows and movies they love, it’s also the platform where users discover new content.
In fact, approximately 51% of US Twitter users find out about TV shows from social media5 and US Twitter users are more likely to use social media as a means of discovery, compared to users from other social media platforms.6 What’s more, with 72% of fan bases saying that Twitter makes them feel like they’re a part of an online community, the Twitter timeline lends itself as a place where cultural moments can — and do — occur.7
This means of discovery is only preceded by recommendations from friends and advertising on the streaming platform themselves.
Conversation equals success
In a crowded and global streaming market, studios have to find fresh ways to cut through the noise. And for the entertainment industry, we know that the power of conversation on Twitter drives tune-in.
Exposure to conversation and paid media yields, on average, 1.5X higher tune-in compared to paid media alone from studios.8 And Twitter is, by far, the most efficient way to drive conversation with a 4:1 ratio of conversation impact compared to TV, print, OOH, and other social media outlets.9
Streamers start out as audiences, but when a studio can organically foster authentic connections with these viewers, they quickly become fans. And fans create communities … that thrive on Twitter. This is where the long-lasting value lies.
Ged Tarpey (@Ged) is the managing director of Global Media & Entertainment at Twitter. In his role, he’s focused on building durable partnerships across movie studios, TV networks, streaming platforms, publishing, sports leagues, and sports betting companies in the US, and around the world. Ged’s first career was as a professional footballer in his native England for Manchester City.
1 YouGov RealTime Survey. “Which, if any, of the following streaming services have you ever watched content from? This includes services you’re subscribed to and services you’ve watched content from”. Selected at least 3 options. Active Twitter Users, n=211. Non-Twitter social media users (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, WeChat, Qzone, Meetup, Weibo, Tiktok OR YouTube). Active Twitter Users. UK n=733,SP n=454,CA n=292,BR n=296,US n=473,ID n=1,137,MX n=334,FR n=166,JP n=421.
2 Twitter Internal Data (Semantic Core). Global Tweets (including RTs) from 7/30/2021-7/25/2022. Retrieved July 2022.
3 YouGov Profiles Data. Question: Ways of finding out about new TV shows (select all that apply). US only.
4 Twitter Insiders, US Only, October 21–28, 2020, n=167
5 Samba, commissioned by Twitter, TV Tune-In, April 2020-June 2022. US. N=162
6 Twitter Meta Analysis: Measuring the impact of Earned Conversation, Neustar MMM (2019)